For many, volunteering is a way of life. Whether taking part consists of a few hours after work, an entire day, or months or years at a time, volunteering fulfills a need to give back. There are numerous opportunities to make a difference – here are just a few:
Donate for ‘likes’
“Give $1 for every ‘like’ your company gets on Facebook,” suggested Kayvan Mott, vice president, marketing and advertising for Infinite Communications Inc., a marketing and public relations firm based in Sherman Oaks, CA. “Make sure your fan page has a call to action or you have a customized tab for the donation project. These types of campaigns can have a viral effect.”
Use your talents
“Every business and business owner has valuable resources that a non-profit can use,” said Denise Winston, founder of Money Start Here, a financial education company in Bakersfield, CA. “For example, if you are a video company, create a short clip for a charity to build awareness. If you are a women’s boutique shop owner, offer makeovers to homeless women. If you are a lawn care service, offer to spruce up the lawn of an elderly or sick individual.”
Publish and donate
“Create an e-book that highlights your thought leadership — this can be done cheaply and easily,” suggested Melissa Giovagnoli-Wilson, founder and CEO of Networlding, a social media consulting and coaching firm based
in Chicago. “For example, if you own a cupcake company, publish a book about ways to make creative cupcakes. Then donate 50 percent of the proceeds from the book to charity.”
“Gather your company together at the beginning of the year and discuss what everyone is passionate about, then agree on a project for the year,” Winston said. “Once a quarter or once a month, allow your employees to donate their time or raise money for an event or cause.
“By asking for participation and ideas from employees, they will feel empowered. Participating in a project as a team is a great team building exercise.”
“Join efforts with a non-profit in your community and form a long-term partnership,” advised Taylor. “Spearhead efforts in your community. Make sure a few members of your team are on the non-profit’s advisory board and volunteer your time, not just your money.”
The key is to be creative in your charitable giving. Find ways to help that others may not have thought of and don’t discount the idea of raising awareness for a cause. AWARENESS breeds SUPPORT and is hugely important.
- Charitable Work Helps Your Bottom Line (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Local Projects Can Be Great Causes for Small Businesses (ventureneer.com)